Tuesday Feb 14, 2012

Virtual Information Service (VIS) Move to Oracle WebCenter

We are happy to have Christy Confetti Higgins join us today! Christy is the Program Manager for Virtual Information Services (VIS) – which enables and supports the information needs, information access/discovery, research, and information/knowledge sharing across Oracle.


In January, 2012, the Oracle Virtual Information Services (VIS) program site migrated to Oracle WebCenter.

1300 employees became members of the new VIS community in the first 30 days (VIS has about 15,000 users across the globe)

VIS is an Oracle HR program within the Organization & Talent Development (OTD) organization enabling all Oracle leaders and employees by providing them with high quality information services to learn, innovate, develop, make effective decisions, stay competitive, and grow the business. VIS is centered around ensuring employees are connected with the right information, knowledge, and internal expertise to drive decision making, learning and enabling collaboration and knowledge sharing - “Good Information = Smart Decisions = Better Business.”

The VIS team decided to migrate the website from the legacy SunSpace platform to Oracle WebCenter.  WebCenter is an Oracle product, a key part of the Oracle internal web strategy, and overall collaborative and easy information management and user engagement platform. It was an excellent fit for VIS!

VIS on the WebCenter platform will continue to make information services easily accessible and available to all Oracle employees while also allowing employees to connect with the VIS team and others interested in information across Oracle through the social and collaboration components integrated into the site (RSS, forums, OraTweet, etc.). 

Information services include access to technical journals (IEEE, ACM, etc.), eBooks, business journals (HBR, McKinsey Quarterly, etc.), company information, standards, book summaries, and more!

Another great aspect we love is that WebCenter is also available via mobile devices! There is a WebCenter app on the iPhone that provides easy access to all VIS content and the community as well as hooks into other social tools via other Oracle apps – it's all connected!

A special thanks to the following three Oracle employees who were instrumental in the migration and creating the VIS look, page templates, and so many other critical components within WebCenter.
  • Matthias Müller-Prove, User Experience Principal and Software Development Manager, Corporate Architecture
  • Peter Reiser, WebCenter Evangelist, Product Development
  • Gaston Martino, Software Development Manager, Product Development
VIS is specifically leveraging the WebCenter Spaces component and have integrated RSS feeds from other Oracle social enterprise applications such as our internal Blog, our internal Oracle Connect group, and our internal OraTweet handle. WebCenter also allows us to have a Forum for community members to ask questions as well as a way for us to connect with all members of the VIS community via WebCenter. 

We know employees have different preferences for how they receive, find, use, share, and connect with information and people internally. With WebCenter, we have the ability to integrate many of the options we have for employees into our main portal site: IM, blog, OraTweet, Forum, email, Connect group, mailing lists, etc. Flexibility, integration, and on-going community awareness and management are key. 

WebCenter also allows community members to subscribe to the VIS Space as a member and receive email/RSS alerts regarding changes to the information services site.

Running Oracle on Oracle has provided additional visibility to VIS and in return, more employees have increased productivity, enhanced decision making, and increased their ability to learn and develop. We have also saved costs by having centralized access to critical business and technical information.

At Oracle, VIS aims to save employees time and enable learning, productivity, collaboration, information/knowledge sharing, and decision making through easy reliable access to quality information - Information Matters to our business success and this wouldn’t be possible without Oracle WebCenter.

Monday Feb 13, 2012

The History of Oracle Connect

Like many of your organizations, Oracle has social tools that we use both internally and externally to foster innovation, share information and bring people together. This week, we want to focus on “Social at Oracle” – how Oracle is using social tools internally and externally to collaborate with one another, find experts and drive business forward. We hope you enjoy getting to learn more about how Oracle uses social tools and the insight and ideas that have occurred as a result of these innovations.


By Jake Kuramoto, Product Strategy Director, WebCenter Evangelism Team

Editor’s note: Peter’s (@peterreiser) tribute to SunSpace has inspired me to tell the story of Oracle Connect, Oracle’s internal social application.

Social enterprise is all rage now, and this trend has grown out of the runaway success of consumer services like Twitter and Facebook. People logically believe that social tools can help them at work–shrinking geographical distances, providing a place to share insight and information, fostering a sense of community–basically all the same benefits consumer networks provide.

People do work, after all, so why not focus on the people, rather than on emails, documents, transactions, and all the other artifacts of work.

Turns out this is true, not without some effort and caveats, but at the core, true.

July 2007: IdeaFactory is born.

Disclosure: This post is written by a member of the Oracle AppsLab, Jake Kuramoto (@jkuramot).

Like many technology-loving companies, Oracle saw the social trend early, and in July 2007, a small team focused on innovation within Oracle development, AppsLab (@theappslab), turned on the IdeaFactory, a Rails application built in less than 24-hours, to capture product ideas and allow user-voting on ideas.

Oracle IdeaFactory, July 2007

The IdeaFactory lived inside the Oracle firewall and was only promoted to a handful of teams within Oracle Applications development. Its stated goal was to collect product ideas, specifically for Oracle Applications products. However, the IdeaFactory went viral, and people from all over Oracle logged in, voted, commented and contributed their own ideas, and not just about Oracle products, but also about internal topics and practices.
From the beginning, one key goal the AppsLab had was to make everything public, and because the IdeaFactory used corporate LDAP, there was no anonymity. Everything was out in the open, which fostered open and honest communication.

August 2007: IdeaFactory becomes Oracle Connect.

The IdeaFactory quickly grew beyond its original goals into something more, and in August 2007, the AppsLab team added a social networking layer, creating Oracle’s first social tool, Oracle Connect. Connect used the corporate LDAP server, so every Oracle employee had an account and a base profile, no account creation required. The networking was bi-directional, i.e. request-approve, and anyone could ask to connect with anyone else, even the CEO, which several people did.

Oracle Connect, August 2007

A request to connect triggered an email, which is what brought most people to Connect, and in addition to basic networking, all the ideas, comments and votes from IdeaFactory were preserved. Aside from that, there wasn’t much else you could “do” with Connect, leading people to ask “What do I do now?”

As with IdeaFactory, very little promotion went into Oracle Connect, and yet after less than a month, more than 14,000 Oracle employees had tried it.
The AppsLab team followed up quickly with a beta release that included many new features, including an activity log, enhanced profile and better search. These features were meant to solve real problems for Oracle employees.

By 2007, Oracle had significantly increased its pace of acquisitions, and as members of acquired companies, several of the AppsLab team were keenly aware of the challenges that people new to Oracle encountered, like finding basic information (e.g. about benefits, corporate policy, mailing list signups, etc.), deciphering what someone actually did beyond a title, discovering who does what and how to reach people, getting answers to basic questions and even thanking people for their help.

Among its innovative features, Oracle Connect included a new take on the org chart, called the management bar, which added a breadcrumb-style listing of a person’s management chain to her/his profile. A simple hover showed all the people at that level. This innovation was picked up by other web applications within Oracle and rolled forward into new product.

Connect also aimed to foster and facilitate internal innovation within Oracle, so in conjunction with Connect, the AppsLab launched OpenLab, an open source-style project that welcomed any internal developers to grab Connect’s code and add features that met their needs or scratched an itch.
This gave enterprising developers a chance to learn the latest web technologies and a sandbox to test and hone their skills; it also provided a way for pent up innovation to bubble up and reach a wider audience.

Oracle Connect was a success internally, and people began to notice.

November 2007: Welcome to Oracle Mix.

The success of Oracle Connect and of social within Oracle caught the attention of Oracle’s CMO, Judith Sim. She wanted to extend the conversation beyond Oracle employees to include anyone interested in Oracle.

So, after a whirlwind design and build, the AppsLab team launched Oracle Mix at Open World in November 2007. Oracle Mix allowed anyone to sign up, create a profile, add ideas, ask questions and join groups. Although the target audience was primarily Oracle users, anyone could register and participate in the community.

Oracle Mix, November 2007

Interesting side note, at the time, Oracle Mix was the largest publicly-deployed application built with JRuby on Rails, a Java implementation of Ruby, and Mix shares the spotlight with many consumer Ruby on Rails applications on the official home for the Rails language.

Oracle Mix continues to serve as the network for the Oracle community at-large to this day, and since its launch, Mix has hosted several initiatives like Suggest-a-Session for OpenWorld, which debuted for OpenWorld 2008 and has been renewed each year since.

2008: Oracle Connect matures.

After launching Mix, the AppsLab team turned its attention back to Oracle Connect.

Oracle Connect had grown virally, serving several thousand users on a daily basis, despite having nothing other than word of mouth to promote it, and the more it was used, the more useful it became, as people added helpful content, answered questions, tweaked ideas and generally reaped the benefits of the weak ties in their corporate networks.

In June 2008, Connect 2.0 released, migrating all existed data to the new JRuby codeline used by Oracle Mix, adding groups and questions, along with a product taxonomy to go along with the tags that Connect already supported. This second version also included REST APIs for Connect’s data, a big plus in a large enterprise environment with many different systems and applications, managed by different teams.

Oracle Connect 2.0, June 2008

These APIs were publicly available inside the firewall, and several developers used them to take advantage of Connect’s growing popularity, helping spawn two other wildly successful side projects.

2009: Full speed ahead

In January 2009, the third version of Oracle Connect launched. Connect 3.0 added new post types and addressed a noise problem that had developed as a side effect of growing popularity by introducing canned filters to help people find the most relevant information.

Connect 3.0 also included lightweight integration with another rapidly growing and popular, homegrown social tool, OraTweet, the side project of Noel Portugal (@noelportugal). Each service used the other’s REST APIs to create and share data; integration like this happens much more easily inside a corporate firewall than out on the consumer web.

Oracle Connect 3.0, January 2009

And speaking of the consumer web, Google had launched OpenSocial in late 2007, and by 2009, the spec was maturing rapidly and many consumer social sites were implementing OpenSocial to create instant networks around their content and integrate with other social properties.

In 2008, the AppsLab team began experimenting with the reference implementation of OpenSocial, Shindig, and by early 2009, they had a working sandbox that internal developers could use to access Connect data via OpenSocial. Realizing that OpenSocial could add huge benefits inside an enterprise, providing a standard and open way to socialize intranet properties and loosely tie data together across many disperate sites, the AppsLab presented its initial findings at OpenWorld 2008 in an unconference session.

Oracle, through the AppsLab, was an early proponent of OpenSocial in the enterprise, and at Google IO 2009, Google’s annual developer conference, Rich Manalang (@rmanalan) was invited to show what Oracle had done with OpenSocial and Oracle Connect.

As social ramped up in 2008 and 2009, so did mobile. After the launch of the iPhone App Store and the iPhone SDK, Clayton Donley (@cdonley) combined several internal services, including Connect, into the Oracle People app for iPhone, another side project, and the first iPhone app Oracle employees could use to access data stored inside the corporate firewall.

In May 2009, Oracle Connect 4.0 was released, including a host of new features targeted at focusing the experience on people, making publishing dead simple, loosely integrating other services and systems, producing standard and open data for consumption and creating an independent group experience.

Oracle Connect 4.0, May 2009

This was a huge update to Connect, which had grown exponentially, serving as many pageviews weekly in 2009, as it had monthly in 2008. Much of the increase in traffic came from a social initiative started in EMEA that was using Connect as its primary social tool.
Social was getting big.

2009: A course change

In September 2009, the AppsLab team joined WebCenter development to apply their social learnings and experience to WebCenter, Oracle’s emerging social tool.

Oracle Connect became a side project, and the AppsLab team put it into maintenance mode, i.e. keep the lights on and only fix critical bugs. However, even though Connect’s codeline would not advance, the team brought all their ideas and product plans to WebCenter, where social was being embraced and spun into real product, to help real customers.

2010-present: Epilogue

Over the years, Oracle Connect has been profiled in a couple books on enterprise social adoption over the years, Niall Cook’s (@niallcook)  Enterprise 2.0: How Social Software Will Change the Future of Work and Social Media at Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organizational Performance by Arthur L. Jue, Jackie Alcalde Marr and Mary Ellen Kassotakis.

Connect continues to run today, still supported by the remaining members of the AppsLab team, who now belong to a new team of WebCenter evangelists. Connect is used extensively by Oracle employees, each day, and despite having no enhancements since May 2009, it still garners favorable feedback from new users.

Traffic to Connect peaked right after the Sun merger in 2010, when it served several hundred thousand pageviews each month; since then, traffic has subsided, but still averages tens of thousands of pageviews to several thousand users each month.

What began as a little experiment with new technology has grown into a mission-critical social tool, used by thousands of people each day to get work done.


We are excited to see the expertise, ideas and innovation that Jake and the WebCenter Evangelist team bring to the development of Oracle WebCenter!

Monday Feb 06, 2012

Does Your Organization Have the Right Tools to Collaborate?

We’ve reached a new era of collaboration and communication. We now live in a world where we are surrounded by social tools -- from checking into a flight at the airport from a smartphone, to buying groceries online and having them delivered to your door, to renting a movie and watching it directly from your plasma TV. We also live in a world where grandma’s have Facebook, teens are using Twitter, and children know how to use iPhones better than their parents. That’s some pretty interesting (and scary?) stuff right there.

Not only are these social tools available in our personal lives, but we see (and demand) those same experiences in our work lives. Imagine if you could easily share information with the right people in various departments and roles across the company. And what if you could also automatically deliver targeted information to potential customers—and connect them with the right partners? Does your organization have the proper tools in place to allow employees, partners and customers to efficiently communicate and collaborate? We’d love to get your feedback on user experience, adoption and attitudes regarding user engagement & collaboration solutions! And be sure to check out this video series to learn how when having the proper user engagement platform in place, you can allow your employees, partners and customers to collaborate efficiently. 

Thursday Feb 02, 2012

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Today's guest post is from Alakh Verma, Director of Platform Technology Solutions at Oracle.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alakh Verma

7 Best Practices of Web Experience Management

Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, Oracle

In my recent blog posts, I shared insights on personalization andpersonalized care that plays significant role in offering pleasant user experience (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement) and then on importance of Portal and Content (If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen). In this post, my efforts are to identify and summarize some of the best practices of Web Experience Management(WEM) to create delightful customer experience based on the recent research report by CITO Research.

This report is available here:
Create a Successful and Meaningful Customer Experience on the Web


7

The immense success and proliferation of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare and mobile/smart devices such as iPhones, Blackberry and Tablet PC among consumers has created consumerization of IT and new paradigm shift seeking pleasant web experience. Now, consumers have become more powerful than before with access of information and social media to communicate to the world at the fingertip.

1) Social Computing and Use of Social Mediais changing the way people interact with each other and with companies online. A recent report from Comscore showed that two-thirds of shoppers begin their process online, and the most frequent starting point is the retail site itself. These consumers are engaging, connecting and collaborating. They want to understand what their friends liked, what other options are available, and what people like them ultimately bought. Most of these consumers consider Facebook recommendations when making decisions about purchasing.
Jeff Bullas in his recent blog writes about Best Buy successful implementation of social media that energized its employees and customers (
How Best Buy energized employees and customers with social media)

2) Consistent Experience Across Multiple Channels and Devices have offered Customers many choices of accessing the Web in new, engaging and collaborative ways than before and they want that ease and diversity to be reflected in their dealings with businesses as well. Consumers change channels and switch devices whenever they need to. They can keep tabs on friends and family on Facebook and follow the Twitter regularly. They can find a nearby restaurant with foursquare geolocation on their phone and then look up reviews of that restaurant on Yelp.
With changing consumer patterns and behavior, it is extremely important to offer targeted, personalized, relevant and consistent experiences across these channels and devices.

3) Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets We have witnessed a smart revolution of the mobile space. As per the recent statistics report, the number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This unprecedented growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change businesses. As per recent report by research firm IDC, mobile usage will surpass that of PCs and other wired devices by 2015. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. In this rapid shift, mobility has to be the integral part of the solutions and the framework.

4) Real Time Decisions and Social Analytics The recent technology such as big data analytics helps and supports us with right information, real-time event messaging provides at right time, mobility at right place anywhere and social media in the right context to make right decisions. I have shared my insights on my earlier post on how critical are Real Time decisions in business today? http://t.co/H6Yf0J9k

5) Personalized Experiences In the connected business environment, consumers expect companies to know about them and their likes and dislikes. For a compelling and relevant experience across channels, companies need to target, analyze, and optimize the customer experience. I had discussed and shared insights on this personalized experience in my earlier post (Personalization: A Key Tenet of User Engagement)

6) Multiple Stakeholders Need Control Expectations for system usability and manageability have changed manifold. Marketers and line of-business executives require that managing websites be extremely easy to manage their campaign and relevant content to meet the timely execution Nontechnical users need to be empowered to build websites, design the layout, make content changes, set up targeting rules, control user-generated-content, and enable the mobile web, all from an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. (Oracle WebCenter Sites based on FatWire acquisition enables this seamlessly.)

7) Integrated Campaign to Drive Customers In order to create a compelling web experience for customers, we need the ability to organize and access their enterprise data and leverage it in web interactions. We need a technology platform that helps create an integrated campaign to encourage repeat business suiting consumer lifestyle either at work or on the road on an iPhone or visiting a physical store or calling customer service.

Oracle WebCenter is one of the leading technology platforms that offers comprehensive web experience management capabilities such as targeting and optimizing content, social computing, and multichannel engagement—all of which help improve customer loyalty, drive web traffic, and target new customer segments. In one integrated suite, it combines an array of complementary capabilities: web experience management (Oracle WebCenter Sites), composite applications and mashups (Oracle WebCenter Portal), social networking and collaboration (Oracle WebCenter Social), and enterprise content management (Oracle WebCenter Content).

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

Web Experience Management and Used Cars

Michael SnowThis week, we’re going to dig into some best practices in Web Experience Management (WEM) to help encourage and evolve the ongoing discussions in this area. Over the past couple of years, we’ve all been increasingly saturated with an ever growing list of acronyms that make up components of the Customer Experience Management ecosystem. Whether it is labeled CXM, CEM, CRM, CCM, WEM, OEO, WXM, WCM, CSM, ABC, or XYZ – these terms are constantly evolving in inclusion and exclusion of strengths in various aspects of the basics. We are all concerned with keeping our customers happy; getting more customers and keeping them (acquisition and retention) to grow our businesses, and of course – providing the best possible customer service regardless of the channel or context that service is delivered – be it research for new purchases or service of existing products or services.

Why is this “experience” management becoming so important lately? We can blame global expanding competition, growing commodification, heightened customer expectations and challenges to conventional marketing as pervasive root causes. Controlling the experience becomes one of the few remaining differentiators for companies trying to acquire and retain customers in an ever growing market climate filled with short attention spans, finicky consumers and exponentially more choices.

guaranteed!How many positive customer experiences have you had this past week? Past month? Past year? Have they been web-based experiences, phone, in-person or by email or a combination? Should it really matter? Shouldn’t your level of customer experience be of equal quality regardless of the channel that you are interacting through? Are there too many moving pieces and people to ever hope for some alignment of experience quality? Are companies ready to think about this consistency in delivery yet or is it an unreachable nirvana somewhere off in the distant future?

Indulge me while I tell a tale of a recent car purchase experience that my wife and I have gone through over the past couple of months. It has been an interesting case study in customer experience. It is ironic in many ways that it highlights not only a great customer experience but also a complete breakdown example within an industry that is dependent on the repeat business of loyal buyers.

Typical familyAs a fairly typical family, we have two teenagers and a large dog. We travel with lots of our stuff – we can’t pack lightly no matter how hard we try. Like many parents, we spend a significant amount of time as a taxi service shuttling kids to and from school, sports and social events. We joined the minivan generation 10 yrs ago and needed to replace our aging van with yet another one – just to last until the kids are out of college and long enough while we are still paying tuition bills and eating rice and beans. We are long time loyal Toyota fans and after rationalizing to myself that minivans were the new middle-age sexy for men of my age in the suburbs – we didn’t hesitate in our search to replace our Sienna with another one.Number One Dog!

So… back to my story – knowing that we wanted to save some money and purchase a “certified pre-owned” vehicle with low-mileage – we commenced endless hours of internet researching with a variety of web experiences running the gamut from amazing to horrible.  We had ongoing email communications with the many dealers in our area until we finally found the perfect vehicle. The benefit and problem with buying a car today is parsing through so much available information during the research phase that you end up with information overload.

We decided that the dealer being located an hour away would only be a mild inconvenience during the purchase process since we would have the car serviced locally at a dealer only 5 minutes from our house. We did the test drive, looked over the car, checked the CarFax history and negotiated a great deal with our trade-in. In our final look at the car, we noticed that the cargo area carpet was damp and the salesperson explained that the rugs had all been shampooed and they probably hadn’t let it dry completely. They would take care of making sure that the carpets were cleaned and dried and the car would be ready for pickup on the following Tuesday (we purchased on a Sunday). We were very happy when we left the dealership – this car buying process that we all really hate doing wasn’t so bad after all.

unhappy!Fast forward – we’ve had our new van for a week of torrential rains and I opened the rear cargo area door to find that the carpets and pads are completely drenched. I’m leaving town on business for the week to CA on Tuesday. I call the dealership on Saturday and speak to the sales manager – I’m not happy. We’re in a holding pattern waiting for communication from the dealer. I start researching known water problems in this model year and protection nuances of the “Lemon Law”. I leave town and they send someone to pick up the van on Wed. I fly back on Friday night and a new 2012 Sienna is sitting in my driveway when I return home. They had delivered it that afternoon for a loaner after I had spoken to them from the airport in San Francisco that morning. Our van was at the body shop where they were trying to figure out the source of the water leak.

Meanwhile – the dealership’s customer experience management machine has kicked into gear completely in the dark regarding the experience we were having. We were getting email and phone follow-up surveys from Toyota as well as the dealership regarding our purchase and service experience. The internet sales associate was following up to thank us for the business. None of these people had any idea what was currently happening. Every additional email or call was a thorn in our side while we remained in limbo over this screwed up major purchase.

On the next Tuesday, we received a call from the General Manager of the Dealership telling us that they had figured out the problem, but they weren’t going to fix it. Long pause on the phone line. It turns out that the roof had been replaced at some point in the past year and the seals weren’t done properly. None of this repair history had shown up on CarFax or reported on the VIN to an insurance company or Toyota. False illusion alert for relying on those reports! They had purchased the vehicle at an auto auction where they purchase thousands of cars. The General Manager told us that he wouldn't ever feel secure about this type of repair and didn’t want us to have to worry about this in the future. They would write us a check for a complete refund of the entire purchase price and all related expenses OR they would like to keep us as a happy client and find a better upgraded vehicle from their own loaner fleet with completely known history and essentially swap it with no additional funds. We were shocked at this offer from the mouth of a “used car salesman” – having essentially expected to somehow get screwed in the deal. It wasn’t hard to make our decision. This dealer had the motivation to make us happy versus starting the whole multiple week search process all over again. Meanwhile, we also had a great new van as a loaner to use.

Happy!In the midst of the holidays, we evaluated and selected another van from their offerings – the next model up - they would take the loss versus releasing an unhappy customer into the local area. We made one trip there to do the test drives, make our selection and they then delivered the new van to us with all the paperwork and new registration. We had a potentially horrible experience turn around into a positive experience that we have repeated to many in our travels.

Now… back to the discussion around experience. Was this the work of one person – the General Manager of the dealership? Or was this because the overall organizational culture is highly focused on longer-term quality of experience? Are reputation-related decisions made to help their business grow in a time when there are lots of options for finding cars online? Was it short-term gain or long-term survival? Or were they fearful of my invocation of the Lemon Law? Water = mold/mildew = health hazard! All of my stereotypes about used car dealers were challenged (just a little bit) by this experience.

From my perspective – we can’t have a discussion in this area without talking about the components of this experience that are relevant to web experience management: Channel, Content, Interaction and Relevance. The auto industry is a perfect example of where alignment of the experience becomes crucial to a positive experience. How many different channels did I interact with during my purchase journey? I discovered the dealership via an internet search; researched the vehicles on their website and via my mobile phone; communicated with their internet sales associate via email and phone and visited their online and offline showroom. When I signed up for notification of availability of a specific model year, features and mileage range, I didn’t want to see emails that didn’t meet my criteria and waste my time. There were countless instances where what was listed on a dealer web site wasn’t available and the site hadn’t been updated to reflect the changes. Each time that happened – it wasted the precious time of a potential buyer and jeopardized the reputation of the dealership. The content I experienced along the way had a variety of value in decision making – ranging from images of the vehicles, 3D interactive video tours of the vehicles, reviews of the models, CarFax on the specific vehicles I was considering, current pricing, trade-in and blue-book values, loan-rates, promotional marketing material, social network and forum commentaries, as well as my personal social community following the saga and offering advice along the way.

Yet – our experience with the additional interactions and inquiries from Toyota, the dealer’s service dept, and their customer service survey follow-up all seemed to be disconnected from our specific experience that was happening concurrently. There was no complete 360 degree view of our experience. Yes – they had a very active customer relationship management follow-up program – but no connections to the full picture of what we were experiencing. What we were seeking during this process were interactions in context and relevance to what we were experiencing. Although the dealership saved face in making our purchase experience right in the end, in order to succeed competitively and win the loyalty of customers, they need to connect the dots and provide an experience that makes every online or offline interaction consistent, contextualized, meaningful and relevant.

Oracle WebCenterThe challenge of delivering and optimizing all of these factors is great and I don’t mean to minimize the effort required whatsoever. Just trying to get multiple groups within an organization to agree on what their unified cross-channel customer experience should be is an incredible challenge that really necessitates executive sponsorship for any of these initiatives to succeed. Oracle WebCenter is the Web experience management solution that enables organizations to use the online channel to drive customer acquisition and brand loyalty. Oracle can provide the tools and expertise to help drive your success in these initiatives, but without executive sponsorship and a culture that fosters good customer experiences across all channels – technology won’t solve all the problems.

Some of the issues that keep companies from attempting to provide a large-scale, multi-channel experience are eliminated with Oracle WebCenter. Oracle WebCenter enables business users to easily manage a multi-channel global online presence, requiring minimal IT support for daily tasks. Oracle WebCenter provides a highly scalable WEM platform with built-in content targeting and optimization, user-generated content, integration with social networking sites, end-user personalization with gadgets, mobile web deployment and integrations with CRM, commerce, ECM, and business intelligence.

The culture of an organization that promotes successful customer engagement using the online channel can enable organizations to attract and retain the loyalty of customers in an extremely competitive business environment. Doing so, however, requires addressing significant new challenges and additional dimensions of complexity in managing the online channel. We’ll hear more about best practices in this area throughout the week with a few guest bloggers from our team here at Oracle. So - stay tuned for more to come.

Thanks & we hope you enjoy the week!

-Michael

Friday Jan 27, 2012

Oracle WebCenter is a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management 2011

As we wrap up this week on Leadership, we wanted to highlight our placing in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for WCM.
  • Oracle is positioned a Leader with WebCenter, moving ahead in “Completeness of Vision” relative to OpenText.
  • Other Leaders are Autonomy, Adobe (acquired Day Software), SDL, SiteCore and OpenText.
  • Both Microsoft and IBM remain Challengers.
  • Gartner evaluated 20 vendors in this year’s MQ (17 were evaluated in last year’s MQ)

Market Trends

  • The WCM market saw strong growth in 2010 amidst a recession with $1 billion in revenue. Gartner predicts in 2011 the WCM market will reach $1.2 billion with a CAGR of 14% from 2009 to 2014, twice the overall enterprise software market.
  • Gartner views WCM as much more than website publishing. WCM has evolved to Online Channel Optimization (OCO), “the discipline of maximizing the impact of engagements with target audiences over a variety of communications media.” Sophisticated enterprises will even try to use OCO in offline realms like retail stores.
  • OCO strategies encompass and integrate with a wide array of technologies include mobile, social, real-time decisioning, Web analytics, digital asset management, CRM and e-commerce.
  • Cloud is a growing area of interest for WCM deployments, with customers opting for hybrid approaches.

Oracle Summary
“Oracle's WCM offering has recently been rebranded as a constituent component of its broader Oracle WebCenter, a user engagement platform. WebCenter, in turn, contributes to the broader Oracle Fusion Middleware, which ties together Oracle's information management, portal and business application portfolios, among other products. In August 2011, Oracle acquired FatWire Software, a vendor that was classed as a Leader in the ‘Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management’ in 2010. See ‘FatWire Purchase Adds Web Experience Management to Oracle's Strategy’, summarized here.”

You can read more in the Gartner Report.


The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


This Magic Quadrant graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research note and should be evaluated in the context of the entire report. The Gartner report is available upon request from Oracle.

Thursday Jan 26, 2012

If Content is the King, then Portal is the Queen


By Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions

The World Wide Web (WWW) was conceived as a tool by Tim Berners-Lee, which created and gathered knowledge through human interaction and collaboration. Web 1.0 came as merely a presentation web with static HTML pages of information. Web 2.0 then gradually advanced towards online participation in content creation and social interaction like e-commerce, e-service, and content strategy, which is all aspects of the “Transactional Web” using social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, etc. We are now transitioning into Web 3.0 that was first defined by Dakota Reese Brown as “The Contextual Web.” Content and Context will now be extremely significant in determining what content we need and with whom we need to collaborate in social business.

It is estimated that by 2020, there would be 4 billion people online; 31 billion connected devices, 25 million applications, 1.3 trillion sensors/tags and 50 trillion gigabytes of content created in networked society. So, we are moving in the world where content is going to be the king and help determine the success or failure of any business. Web content has changed and so is web content management. During the last decade, we focused on making it easier and more powerful for non-technical people to move content from their desktop to their Web site and helped the enterprises with powerful workflows, approval processes and the ability to integrate with other enterprise tools and applications. The next decade will be more focused on providing Web experience or customer experience management on the Web. And Content and Portal would remain at the center stage as we evolve into a new era of computing.

The explosive growth of content and more specifically unstructured content such as videos on YouTube, photos and chat messages on Facebook and emails have given birth to yet another evolutionary paradigm of big data management as we enter the year 2012. As Content remains the king, it is paramount to store, manage, archive and retrieve from the unified repository and Oracle WebCenter Content and Oracle WebCenter Sites does it all seamlessly. Customers have started seeking pleasant Web experience with their transactions and businesses need to offer a robust Customer engagement platform to meet that. 

Content is the King

As content is the king, Web portal or public portal (defined by webopedia) that refers to a Web site or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as e-mail, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls seems to be the queen to render the context based content from the unified repository from any source to complement each other. Without a sound portal framework, users would not be able to get the right content in the context of their business in real-time to execute their transactions.

Portal is the Queen

For example, if any customer visits BestBuy on their Web portal for getting any product information leading them to subsequent sales transaction, the first thing they would look for is a context based search interface that would help the visitor to provide the relevant content. The portal interface should also provide the similar other products or recommended products based on other user feedbacks and ratings. Also, quick references and recommendations with an option to verify via chat/email become almost convincing to the prospective buyer to make decision. 

Interestingly, technologies such as Oracle WebCenter Portal and Oracle WebCenter Sites offer these capabilities and help portal to be the queen in our Web based business transactions and compliment Web Content management in the overall customer experience management.

Wednesday Jan 25, 2012

Oracle WebCenter: Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Horizontal Portals 2011

  • Oracle is positioned a Leader with WebCenter Portal, closing the gap relative to IBM and Microsoft on Completeness of Vision
  • Other Leaders are Microsoft, IBM, SAP, and Liferay
  • Gartner evaluated 14 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant (10 were evaluated last year)

Market Trends

  • After many consolidations in the portal market, the number of vendors in the space is increasing driven by User Experience Platforms (UXP), portal cloud services and client-centric widgets.
  • Gartner predicts that by 2015, widgets will be more prevalent than portlets and that 25% of new portal projects in Global 2000 firms will use open-source frameworks.
  • Portal initiatives of the past focused on aggregation and integration, whereas portal projects of the future are focused on user engagement through social, mobile and easy-to-use interfaces.
  • Portlet catalogs are morphing into “app stores” supporting consumer-Web widget standards, including OpenSocial to leverage publicly available components like Google Gadgets.
  • Portal vendors are splitting the market between UXPs and Lean Portals (see [Gartner] The Great Portal Divide: How a Rift in the Portal Market Will Impact Your Web Strategy)

Oracle Summary
"Oracle recently rebranded its Enterprise 2.0 strategy, under which its portal portfolio operated, as WebCenter, labeling it the 'user engagement platform for social business.' Oracle's new WebCenter brand has four major pillars:

  • Sites — for Web experience management (powered by Oracle's FatWire acquisition)
  • Portal — for composite applications, mashups and portals (powered by WebCenter Portal and Oracle's other portal technologies)
  • Content — for ECM (powered by its Universal Content Management [formally Stellent] technology)
  • Social — for social networking and collaboration (powered by components from Beehive product and the newly introduced Oracle Social Network)

WebCenter Portal consists of the WebCenter Suite, including the WebLogic Portal and WebCenter Interaction (both from Oracle's acquisition of BEA acquisition) and WebCenter Services. Oracle has been on the UXP path for several years, and the rebranding around WebCenter is clear evidence. Oracle continues to address its multiple-portal issues through ongoing convergence into WebCenter Portal. Gartner estimates that product garners 80% of all Oracle's portal revenue."

You can read more in the Gartner Report or press release. And if you are looking for more information on Portals & Composite Applications, be sure to check out this Resource Center, where you'll find videos, webcast, white paper, and more!


The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


This Magic Quadrant graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research note and should be evaluated in the context of the entire report. The Gartner report is available upon request from Oracle.

Tuesday Jan 24, 2012

WebCenter - A Scalable Enterprise Community Platform

by Peter Reiser  (twitter, blog)

Continuing on with the theme of Leadership, this blog post describes how we successfully migrated a very large enterprise community system called  SunSpace to Oracle WebCenter. 

Over the next couple of weeks I will post more details on how we did the migration and some WebCenter best practices on the Reiser 2.0 blog.

Happy reading :).


Last week I blogged about "a tribute to SunSpace".  On December 31, 2011 we decommissioned  SunSpace, Sun Microsystems's  highly  successful enterprise community system. I have to admit  that it was a bit of an emotional moment -  being the Chief Architect for SunSpace the last 6 years -  I realized that this project finally ended. 

But you know what?  In 2009, when we had this phenomenal growth and adoption (> 30'000 users) of SunSpace, we already started to think about a much more scalable infrastructure and technology to keep up with the growth. The SunSpace community platform really became business critical in the Sales organization (remember, the primary users where Sun's global Sales and Services folks) 

We started to see some limitation of the current technology stack and we kicked of a new project to evaluate products and technologies which where designed for Enterprise class scalability, security and manageability, but at the same time allowed agile and flexible deployment of new function and features. 

... and then Sun Microstems got acquired by Oracle ... 

well - that was actually pretty timely as it allowed us to kickoff a project to evaluate a migration strategy from SunSpace to an Oracle based technology. After 3 months of evaluation, we decided to implement a large pilot on Oracle WebCenter and migrated 22 internal Oracle communities with around 15,000 members  from the "old" Oracle portal to Oracle WebCenter.

Based on this successful implementation, we decided to migrate SunSpace to Oracle WebCenter and we completed the project in December 2011.

Ok - so what have been implemented?

Lets's look at some details. (Note: the comparison tables below are excerpts of the internal user migration guide we wrote for the former SunSpace users)

User MyProfile 

Each WebCenter user has a personal profile (MyProfile) where one manages their personal settings, files and a network of contacts.

The following table lists the SunSpace personal profile features with and the commensurate WebCenter MyProfile features. 

 SunSpace Confluence Feature  WebCenter Feature How WebCenter Works
 User Home MyProfile: to access, click on your name at the top of any WebCenter page Your name, title, and reporting line are displayed.  Sub-tabs show your activity stream (Activities); people in your network (Connections); files you have uploaded (Documents); your contact information (Organization); and any personal information you wish to share (About).
Files  MyFiles Allows you to upload, download and store documents or wiki pages within folders and subfolders.  The WebDav interface allows you to download / upload files / folders with a simple drag and drop to / from your local machine.  Tagging is supported and recommended.
Network 

Home
MyConnections 

Home: displays the activity stream of individuals in your network.
MyConnections: shows individuals in your network.  Click on a person's name to see their contact info and link to their profile.
Status Updates  MyProfile > Activities Add and displays  your recent activties and status updates.
Watches  Preferences > Subscriptions > Current Subscriptions Receive email notifications when  pages / spaces you watch are modified.
N/A  Recommended Connections  Recommends you people you should connect based on the WebCenter Activity Graph analytics service.
Settings  Preferences: to access, click on 'Preferences' at the top of any WebCenter page Set your general preferences, as well as your WebCenter messaging, search and mail settings.
MyCommunities  MySpaces: to access, click on 'Spaces' at the top of any WebCenter page  Displays MySpaces (communities you are a member of); and Recent Spaces (communities you have recently visited).

Communities (Spaces)

Communities (Spaces) are groups of people who collaborate, find and share information on a given topic.  Communities include group and membership management, news, an attachment store, wiki, forum and a calendar.  Read / write access can be restricted to individuals, groups or members.

The following table lists the SunSpace Community features  with and the commensurate WebCenter Community features.

 SunSpace Confluence WebCenter  How WebCenter Works 
Home  Home Displays a community introduction and activity stream.  Members can add messages, links or documents via the Community Message Board.  Moderators can modify or add any portlets available in the portlet catalog.
People  Members Lists members of the community. The Mail All Members feature allows moderators and participants to send a message to all members of the community. Membership Management can be found under  Manage > Members
News  News Members can post and access latest community news and they can subscribe to news using an RSS reader. 
Documents  Documents Allows community members to upload, download and store documents or wiki pages within folders and subfolders.  The WebDav interface allows participants to download / upload files / folders with a simple drag and drop to / from your local machine.  Tagging is supported and recommended.
Wiki  Wiki Allows community members to create and update Wiki pages with a rich text editor editor.
Forum  Forum Post community forum topics. Contribute to community forum conversations
N/A  Calendar Update and/or view the Community Calendar.
N/A  Analytics Displays detailed analytics data (views,downloads, unique users etc.) for Pages, Wiki, Documents, and Forum in a given community space.

In addition WebCenter has a very cool  iPhone app! 

Be sure to stop by the Reiser 2.0 blog over the next couple weeks where Peter will post more details on how we did the migration and some WebCenter best practices!

Monday Jan 23, 2012

Oracle WebCenter Leads in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management 2011

Did you know that Oracle WebCenter has been named a Leader in numerous analyst reports? We are proud of the growth of WebCenter and our leadership and wanted to spend this week highlighting that as well as internal success with WebCenter. Today, we’ll focus on our leadership in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Content Management 2011.
  • Oracle is positioned a Leader with WebCenter Content with the highest relative score in Completeness of Vision
  • Other Leaders are IBM, Microsoft, OpenText, EMC and Hyland Software
  • Gartner evaluated 21 vendors in this year’s Magic Quadrant (22 were evaluated last year)

Market Trends

  • The Enterprise Content Management (ECM) market continues to grow, spending grew by 5.1% in 2009 and 7.6% in 2010. Gartner expects a CAGR of 11.4% through 2015. Improving productivity is fueling this growth.
  • Asia/Pacific is seeing significant growth, particularly in financial, insurance, and legal markets in Singapore, Australia and China.
  • The future of ECM will come from these key areas:
    • Cloud: public cloud deployments are inexpensive and suited for basic content needs without customization.
    • Mobility: access to content from smart phones and tablets, including process approvals, exceptions handling, photo and bar-code inputs, and case management.
    • Analytics: text, rich media, speech and behavior analytics on all kinds of content like documents, blogs, new sites, conversations, social networks.  
    • Big Content: diversification of content types like audio and video files and increasing size of content repositories.
  • Current usage scenarios:
    • Transactional Content Management: imaging, workflow/BPM, compliance archives, records management and e-forms. Content tends to be static, processes are long-running and high volume. Examples are invoice automation, case management, customer communications management, load processing, electronic patient files.
    • Social Content Management: compound content, collaboration, alerts/calendaring, wikis, blogs, videos, document markup, annotation, version control.  Examples are new drug discovery, new hire recruiting, onboarding and training, project management.
    • Online channel optimization: WCM, DAM, portals, e-forms, Web and content analytics, social software, XML authoring, rich-media, social and collaboration all through multiple channels contextualized for the user. Examples are online retail optimization, Web channel distributed claims processing, constituency self-service government.
    • Content management as infrastructure: content services delivered by infrastructure vendors like Oracle, IBM, Microsoft in their software stacks. Serves as a platform for composite content applications.

Core components of an ECM Suite

  • Document management
  • Web content management
  • Records management
  • Image process applications
  • Social content
  • Workflow/BPM
  • Extended components: digital asset management, document composition, e-forms, search, content, and Web analytics, email and information archiving, email management, application integration.

Oracle Summary
“Oracle brings together content management with portal, Web, and collaboration in its new Oracle WebCenter strategy and platform. Oracle WebCenter Content subsumes Oracle Enterprise Content Management Suite 11g, which continues to expand its ECM market footprint. Oracle made a significant move in expanding its Web management capabilities with the acquisition of FatWire in June 2011. This provides Oracle with features and functionality that focuses more on the marketing buyer rather than the IT buyer. Oracle WebCenter Content enables customers to leverage the Oracle product stack, which can reduce the overall cost of deployment. Oracle's sales presence and broad technology stack make it a strong contender in the ECM market.”

You can read more in the full report or press release.


The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "Leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


This Magic Quadrant graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research note and should be evaluated in the context of the entire report. The Gartner report is available upon request from Oracle.

Thursday Jan 12, 2012

Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Portals

Oracle has just announced a new web seminar: Do More with Oracle WebCenter: Expand Beyond Portals. This event will take place on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:00 AM PST (register here). You can hear Christian Finn of Oracle discuss how Oracle WebCenter includes comprehensive content, Web experience management, and social computing capabilities.

You will find you can do more with Oracle WebCenter by creating advanced customer-facing Web solutions to enhance customer loyalty and sales. And you can manage the entire content lifecycle of not just the content in your portals but also across your entire enterprise. Join us for this Webcast and learn how Oracle WebCenter:

  • Enables social business by coordinating collaboration inside and outside the enterprise
  • Improves the online experience by delivering targeted multichannel customer experiences
  • Manages the complete content lifecycle across all Websites, applications, and social tools on a strategic enterprise content management platform
Be sure to join us on the 19th!

Friday Jan 06, 2012

Emerging Trends and Best Practices for Social and Mobile Business


By Alakh Verma, Director, Platform Technology Solutions, Oracle

The year 2011 saw a dramatic leap in Cloud, Social and Mobile technologies and the emergence of some key trends. In today’s ever changing technology-centric world, we are witnessing consumerization of IT and more participation of consumers in the business.  Easy to use, highly mobile, and social are the mantras of the new generation of IT. Let us examine some key emerging trends as below.

  1. Cloud Computing
    More than 50 percent of business leaders Sand Hill interviewed, implemented game-changing Cloud solutions in the last twelve months. The survey uncovered the fact that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are already realizing benefits from Cloud solutions. Nearly 70 percent of the surveyed software executives indicated that SMEs are the source of their current revenues. Moreover, 85 percent said that smaller companies with revenues less than $500 million account for the highest revenue today. The reasons why Cloud adoption currently is faster and deeper among SMEs are many. The two most prominent characteristics driving them to the Cloud are:
         • SMEs are less tied down by historical investments in infrastructure, massive data files, and organizational obstacles to adoption
         • SMEs’ lack of access to a large reservoir of capital and resources

  2. Mobility-Smart Devices and Tablets
    In the past decade, we witnessed a smart revolution in mobility. The number of mobile devices has increased fivefold from 1 billion to 5 billion, with a resulting escalation in the number of connected people from 400 million to over 2 billion. This growth of connectivity is creating an overwhelming range of new possibilities, and tapping, swiping, locating, pinging and socializing are quickly becoming part of normal human behavior. Technology is starting to change people and these people, whether consumers or employees, will change our culture and way of doing business. New applications, widgets and other digital gadgets are taking technology into a whole new direction. They are driving innovation and are actively transforming our business from “Systems of Record” to “Systems of Engagement”.

  3. Enterprise 2.0 and Social Business
    Mobility with smart devices on fingertips has accelerated the use of social networks to communicate and collaborate. McKinsey and Company has reported that the revenue growth of social businesses is 24% higher than less social firms and data from Frost and Sullivan backs that up across various KPIs.

    This new paradigm shift has defined the new level of customer engagements.

    The Six Layers of Customer Engagement
    a)    The Web: When companies moved to the Web, they asked customers to be self-sufficient with regard to product information, customer service and ordering.
    b)    Social Media: The social Web opened up possibilities of public, two-way conversation.
    c)    Facebook/Linkedin/Twitter: These are the Internet for many people, and they handle all of their communication, with friends and companies, through the world’s largest social network.
    d)    Mobile: With a phone in every pocket, customers are now looking for information that they can consume on their mobile devices.
    e)    Augmented Reality: Digital information can now be placed on top of the real world.
    f)    The Game Layer: This builds on the mobile layer and lets businesses turn the world and their businesses into a game.

  4. Consumerization of IT
    Consumerization of IT is associated with ease-of-use, attractive interfaces, intuitive functionality and low prices. In the corporate IT world, this move to "consumerized" IT has been described as the penetration of employee-purchased mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. This phenomenon is already growing and penetrating large organizations rapidly.

  5. Big data
    Businesses are already facing greater challenges with large amount of data more than ever before, yet have surprisingly little access to it. The term “big data” was coined to describe new technologies and techniques that can handle an order of magnitude or two more data than enterprises are today. Big data offers the promise of better ROI on valuable enterprise datasets, while being able to tackle entirely new business problems that were previously impossible to solve with existing techniques.

    Cloud, Social and Mobile computing are taking the mainstream in this paradigm shift and organizations would seek best practices to adopt and implement sooner than later.

People, Process and Technology and Cultural Shift
As with any business, people, process within the organization and the technology, play very important role and Social business will not be an exception to it. More importantly the change in people behavior and culture will also be significant to its adoption. The most successful companies are embedding social components into their business applications such as CRM, Financials and Talent Management. Oracle Fusion Applications has embedded capabilities of social collaboration with workflow integration. Real-time collaboration within workgroups would help in productivity and this is already in practice at Oracle for a long time.

Social Location and Mobility
Three hot areas of social business are social, location-based and mobility. Nielsen and NM Incite have created infographics with interesting figures in each area. Parents turn out to be big on social media. Nearly half of visitors to local deals sites recommend those sites. Smartphone users spend two-thirds of their time using their phones on apps, rather than talking.




Inclusive System Flexibility (Bring Your Own Devices-BYOD)
With popular usage pattern of Smart devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and tablets, Blackberry and Android devices among employees, organizations need to provide flexibility to integrate with their corporate systems to enhance productivity. Oracle has already provided apps interface and enabled access to the corporate network and apps with VPN access to manage and maintain security.

Top Down –Left Right and Center
Social is the human behavior and it has to be across the board within organizations. With the emergence of these trends, everyone within organizations should have Twitter, LinkedIn and Social media accounts and establish its network of trust and credibility. It is a major cultural shift that needs to be enforced at the top management and executed sincerely at all levels. 

Thursday Jan 05, 2012

How to Build a Trusted Wisdom of the Crowd Model

By Peter Reiser and Mike Briggs

Introduction

A key objective of a Social Enterprise strategy is to leverage the wisdom of the crowd to quickly  find the right answers to question related to an enterprise business. This blog post describes a best practice called Onestop which was  very successfully implemented at Sun Microsystems.  

..and what is the relationship of this best practice example with Oracle WebCenter?  Well -   we just migrated the Sun Onestop implementation from SunSpace to WebCenter   :)

Use Case

Let's look at a real live use case example:

John Doe is a pre-sales engineer. He has a customer meeting in 20 minutes.
John needs urgently the latest information about the SunFire products and the compatibility metrics.
Jon is under heavy time pressure to find the correct information and he need to trust that what he finds is really accurate.


The Challenge
Where should John go to find information on the Sun Fire products?
What if he don't know the name of the product itself?
How does he know that the information he finds is accurate ?

The Solution
At Sun we had a community called Onestop. This was  a community of around 300 Onestop authors, subject matter experts who voluntary maintain a page around a topic like a product, a technology or a best practice. The people in the field are trusting the Onestop authors.

At Onestop, Jon can either find a list of menus on the homepage that are convenient for browsing, particularly useful if you don't know the exact name of the product




or he can use a highly, efficient and tuned search.



Jon will be directed to a OneStop page that contains the information his looking for, which is in a consistent and familiar format. The page maintained by a  Onestop author so he can count on the fact that it is up to date.

Best Practice

Moderate Content  - Content is moderated by a recognized subject matter expert, aka the Onestop author.
Challenge: What's In It  (WIIFM) for the Onestop Author?

In the Sun use case we established a reputation/recognition model around a Onestop author role
- global exposure around a specific topic
- direct access to product engineering
- recognition on the Home page (Onestop Author Spotlight section)
- Onestop authorship was a criteria of the technical leadership promotion program

more information: Trusted content trough facilitated communities post and  Social RoI and Social Value models post


Community facilitation & governance  -  Methodology and Tools to facilitate Community of Onestop authors 
- facilitate the best practices sharing among the Onestop authors
- provide easy tools for authoring content
- drive consistency using page templates
- provide tools to regularly check accuracy of content
As example - we provide a daily update of changes of the official products sites to the Onestop authors.

more information: Onestop blog from Mike Briggs


Destination site  -  One Stop Shop site for product, technology and programs
- Single trusted website for product, technology and programs
- Rich navigation  experience:

  - A-Z index
  - Category browsing
  - Latest Updates, New additions, most accessed page etc.

- Search:

  - optimized search
  - synonym matching - e.g. code names to product names 
 - faceted search - by tag, category, related communities, related people etc.

- Social  integratio:n

   - rating
   - commenting
   - bookmarking
   - sharing
   - subscription

User Feedback

Here are some quotes from users:

"If it's not on Onestop - it does not exist."

"I absolutely DO need to go to the OneStop type pages. Having all info in one spot is crucial and a great savings in time."

"As a technical member of staff, I find one stop an invaluable resource for all sorts of issues. It also provides a platform to find quick answers to many commonly asked customer questions."


Thanks for such an insightful post! Read more from Peter Reiser and Mike Briggs.


Tuesday Jan 03, 2012

5 Best Practices for Embracing the Social Enterprise

As we jump into 2012, we want to focus this week on best practices. Stay tuned as we talk with industry experts and get their thoughts on the latest social, mobile and Web trends.


5 Best Practices for Embracing the Social Enterprise

It is difficult to dispute that organizations embracing the Social Enterprise help to maximize worker efficiency. With this being said, evolving an enterprise to take advantage of social business capabilities requires tenacious design, delivery and management of technical and business efforts.  To make the most efficient journey toward the Social Enterprise consider the following key points.

1.    Define How will you Measure Success - If you were going on vacation and someone asked you where, you would know.  We should not treat the Social Enterprise any differently.  Have clearly defined metrics established to validate project performance and return on investment.
2.    Start with Scope in Mind - The amount of information generated from collaborative activities can be immense.  The value from technologies like Activity Streams is directly correlated to the relevancy of end users.  If users are inundated with materials unrelated to their work, Activity Streams lose their effectiveness.
3.    Don't Confuse Installation with Implementation - Installing Social Enterprise technologies does not mean that your organization's business is capitalizing on evolving to a Social Enterprise.  Find small pockets of people excited to embrace the technology, with clearly defined objectives, to begin leveraging the technology.
4.    Relax - As social capabilities proliferate throughout the enterprise, some people are prompted to ask - "what if someone says x, y or z about our CEO on our intranet?"  Technology does not remove the need to observe traditional business etiquette; people should observe standard business protocol.
5.    Practice - Do not expect others to readily adapt aspects of the Social Enterprise if you are not benefiting from them yourself.  Practice, learn - and then evangelize.

Read more from John Brunswick.

Friday Dec 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011 - Hello 2012

At this time of year as we all try and stop for a moment and take a look back at what we’ve accomplished over the past year and where we’d like to improve in the next year, I’ve been pondering the multiple postings on the “Best and Worst <fill in the blank> of 2011.” Since we are in the Web experience business here at Oracle – it is only appropriate that I give a shout out to some of the best listings of the best of 2011 that have already been compiled here.

As the vortex of my screen and search engine suck the time out of my afternoon, I realize that I really can't do full justice to a complete compilation of the best of 2011, but will provide this handy link here so you can browse until the wee hours of 2011. 

With regards to what's coming in 2012? Lots of predictions but a few I'd like to call out specifically.

Simon Lande was spot-on target in his recent posting on CMSWire: “Web Customer Experience Management: More Is Not Enough In 2012” where he notes that while 2011 was the year of more more more… 2012 should be spent in adjusting the quality of more. Good ‘ol American super-sizing everything isn’t going to cut it anymore. He quotes one of my fellow Tufts' alumni, Seth Godin, who wrote recently on his blog

“Every interaction comes with a cost. Not in cash money, but in something worth even more: the attention of the person you're interacting with. Waste it — with spam, with a worthless offer, with a lack of preparation, and yes, with nervous dissembling, then you are unlikely to get another chance.”

On the Perfect Customer Experience blog, Louis Columbus wrote a great article entitledPredicting 2012: The Year Quality of Customer Experience Becomes King where the focus on quality of our interactions is paramount and integrations between our CRM and content systems hold incredible promise for improving the customer experience across our digital and human interactive ecosystems.

5 Star Service!

“In 2012 many businesses will need to step up their efforts to make better use of internal systems that are not integrated to CRM, analytics and customer service systems so they can deliver higher quality customer experiences immediately.  Integrating these systems together and making the quality of data and intelligence a priority will increase the quality of customer experience delivered.”


This post was a great intro for Oracle WebCenter’s Connected Customer Experience. The challenge for organizations today is to be able to manage the entire customer journey – from selecting products, researching and browsing, to transacting business, to seeking service for their products, to recommending products to others – in an integrated manner so that they can create a positive customer experience with the organization overall that will drive customer engagement, loyalty, sales, and the success of their business.

Effectively harnessing the power of your online channel is much harder than it used to be. Success today depends on your ability to provide rich, interactive experiences paired with sophisticated social engagement.

According to CITO Research, top-performing businesses are deploying flexible platforms that enable them to optimize online engagement and implement Web experience management. Download CITO’s latest white paper to learn about integrated customer experience strategies that help you attract and retain customers. Topics include:

White Paper

• Social networks
• Mobile channels 
• Relevance and optimization
• Decision-making and analytics
• End user personalization and segmentation
• Targeting and syndication
• Integrated customer data and campaigns

Happy New Year from all of us here on the Oracle WebCenter Team.

We look forward to an exciting 2012!

Happy New Year!

About

Oracle WebCenter is the center of engagement for business—powering exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. It connects people, process, and information with the most complete portfolio of portal, Web experience management, content, imaging and collaboration technologies.

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